breaking bread is a universal ritual that brings us together. a good meal has the power to heal us, body and soul. all my cooking comes from the heart.

Friday, February 20, 2015


I recently took my first stab at making quasi-sourdough bread. It's not real sourdough since instead of a starter--which takes some time--I used packaged yeast and Greek yogurt for the leavening and tartness. 

I used a recipe from The Good Housekeeping Step-by-Step Cookbook. I have the 1997 edition so not sure how different the current edition is, but I love this cookbook. I tend to develop my own recipes but like to try out a standard or traditional one first, then start tweaking the methods, timing, and ingredients. What is great about this cookbook is that it takes a recipe, e.g., risotto, walks you through the steps with photographs not only of the finished product but of important stages during preparation, and then provides a couple other modifications to the main recipe. My edition also includes tables of conversions and a lot of "basics" information on outfitting your kitchen and the like.

Even if it wasn't "real" sourdough, it was delicious hot from the oven smothered in butter. Then I got a craving for grilled cheese. Boats and toasters don't mix (toasters draw way too much electricity), so I toasted some slices in a non-stick pan, covered them with sharp white cheddar, and covered the pan with a plate to help the cheese melt a bit. Once the cheese was soft but not oozing out, I assembled the little sandwiches and the result was scrumptious. I only wish I'd had a bowl of tomato soup to go with them! 

Next time I may experiment with adding some chunks of cheese in the dough. I was considering adding sesame seeds and Kosher salt on top but that would require an egg wash to the crust and this one is supposed to be brushed with water to get the right chewiness. Perhaps I'll have to make one of each! I can only turn out one loaf at a time due to my small boat oven, but there's just nothing like baked goods hot and fresh from the oven.

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